Consequences of the plant-based choice
Please keep in mind, at Natural Choices Wellness I completely respect an individual’s choice to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet. In many ways it can be a much better alternative than the Standard American Diet, by far. It does however present nutritional challenges which must be dealt with to stay healthy and which plant-based eaters need to be aware of.
Among those challenges are the absence of beneficial saturated fats, collagen proteins, vitamin K2, vitamin B12, and the Omega-3 fats DHA/EPA. It is very difficult to source these from plant-based foods, and these are all extremely vital nutrients for good health. The typical plant based sources are grains and beans, which also contribute negative side effects in the form of anti-nutrients, potential blood sugar spikes, and a blood sugar level which is higher than optimal.
I completely understand the moral argument to be a plant-based eater – and I do not have an answer for that issue. Even though animal food can be humanely raised, ultimately consumption of animal flesh requires the death of the animal. It is a fact of life and is widely seen throughout the natural world. Dairy and eggs are not in this category, as they are harvested without requiring the death of the animal and can be done in a humane and sustainable fashion.
3 Reasons Vegetarians Can Age Faster
Catherine (Cat) Ebeling is an RN with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and over thirty years studying diet, health and nutrition, along with twelve years in the fitness business as a certified personal trainer, and certified diet and weight loss consultant. She is currently working on her graduate degree in nursing (MSN) and public health and blogs on her website simplesmartnutrition.com.
I am linking below to an article titled “3 Reasons Vegetarians Can Age Faster” which Cat has written and posted at thenutritionwatchdog.com. This article discusses the potential for vegetarians and vegans to age faster as a consequence of the lifestyle. Cat is a former vegan herself, having spent close to 15 years following that diet lifestyle.
Here are the three issues Cat discusses, taken from the article:
1. Missing essential dietary fats necessary for healthy joints, proper heart and brain function, anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body, and smooth glowing skin
2. AGE’s and aging from a diet high in carbohydrates consisting of grains (often highly refined), starchy carbohydrates and refined, ‘fake’ foods like artificial meat.
3. Depleted collagen—One of the more obvious places you will see collagen deficiency is in the skin. Collagen helps give the skin resilience, so if eggs, dairy, fish, and meat are eliminated from the diet, you will see this deficiency every time you look in the mirror!
Each of these is explored in great depth by Cat and I highly recommend you read the entire article. It truly is eye-opening.
I truly do have a philosophy that all are welcome at this website’s table. There is no completely perfect diet – all foods have potential downsides which must be managed and minimized. As long time readers know I post a lot of videos from NutritionFacts, which is done by a doctor who is vegan and actively promotes it as the healthiest lifestyle.
I eat a largely plant-based diet myself, although I do eat a minimal amount of animal protein daily – mostly dairy and eggs. My purpose here is not to discourage or denigrate a plant-based diet lifestyle, but rather to educate those who follow or consider the diet to the challenges they must face.
Enjoy the article.